Silicon Valley has stood as the central hub of technological innovation for many decades. Located in the San Francisco Bay area, this picturesque region has been home to Google, Facebook, Apple and countless other companies who have shaped the world through innovation. According to The Secrets of Silicon Valley, the provocative documentary from the Corbett Report, this appealing veneer is little more than a smokescreen that hides a massive conspiracy in plain sight. From the perspective of these filmmakers, Big Tech means big trouble.
Hiding underneath is a shadowy underworld where global surveillance is king and personal freedoms are compromised. They’re the real intelligence arm of the United States government, and their innovations have aided in the surveillance of our every conversation, purchase and social media encounter. Their end game is nothing short of the destruction of our privacy, the manipulation of our behaviors, and the ability to wield complete control over our lives.
This view may seem unduly apocalyptic to some, but the film anchors its theories on a long and detailed history of the region. Silicon Valley was essentially founded by Frederick Terman in the aftermath of World War II. This learned professor and electrical engineer was a major advisor to the each branch of the U.S. military, and supported their research efforts through the Stanford Research Institute. As detailed in the film, Terman’s contributions get decidedly murkier and more nefarious from there.
The filmmakers explore many additional avenues of suspicion, including the birth of the internet, the ties between the Oracle software company and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the contracts shared between Google and the National Security Agency (NSA), and the parallel ascents of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The film’s narrative paints a complex collaboration between individual billionaires, tech corporations, and secret government agencies. This includes a wealth of meticulously researched and seemingly well-sourced information that may impress even the most fervent skeptic.
The Secrets of Silicon Valley isn’t necessarily hopeful that the tides of this conspiracy can be reversed, but it conveys great urgency in its exposure of their misdeeds.
Directed by: James Corbett